Predictably perhaps, hobbies and personal home based projects have increased, evidenced in the popularity of online course subscriptions across social media platforms.

Since lockdown in late March, the epidemic has restricted personal freedoms such as travel and meeting friends. Despite the maddening effects of such measures to curtail the spread of infection, allowing the opportunity to take up old and new interests is a positive step to making this time productive and engaging.

Steve Fisackerly, an online art tutor described the benefits of drawing as a perfect tonic for anxiety, describing the act of drawing as a type of meditation that can train our brains out of the stupor of quarantined foggy thinking.

Four drawing exercises suitable for beginners and advanced artist are described as follows.


Charcoal, especially compressed, is a highly effective drawing material for its density and flexibility to be ground into paper as well as erasable.

Gathering a simple kit of charcoal, an a2 art pad and a putty rubber, covering the entire surface with coat of charcoal will enable the putty rubber function as a marker by exposing the area of paper underneath.

Arrange a set of objects with a direct light source to cast shadows and highlights, draw out areas of where light is captured by erasing areas of charcoal form the paper. Squinting can help increase the view of contrast in referencing the subject for the drawing.

Left hand right hand

To free up ones style and avoid becoming too precious with ones work, using a light pencil e.g. 2H in the less capable hand, sketch out a selected subject for drawing. The lack of hand eye coordination can feel a little uncomfortable at first and effect the drawing as childish. Mapping out the entire sketch will provide a light matrix of untidy lines. With the dominant hand, select lines and trace with stringer bold lines.
The childish nature of the line will appear intentional and stronger and is a great way to capture landscapes.


Employing different techniques can encourage different ways of seeing. Utilizing a glass surface, a small roller, some water based relief ink, artist pad and a biro, can produce a large body of drawing studies in an extremely short session.

Rollering ink across the glass and lightly dropping a sheet of paper onto, draw onto  the sheet with a ball point pen to embed the lower surface into ink, creating a printed line from the layer underneath.
Utilize 10 strokes in each drawing to capture the essential elements of the subject.

Blind draw Portraits

An unsettling discipline at  first  to maintain,  is the simple practice of not looking at your drawing whilst drawing.

Making a set of portraits from live subjects, align your hand with your eye and attempt to trace the direction of your sight.  By having your drawing hand follow the visual information being directly fed into your vision, this exercise is said to increase the discipline of looking when drawing whilst improving hand eye coordination.

Make a set of A3 drawings and allow for a large border around the work to compensate for misaligned drawn marks.